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2014 Game Retrospective - Part 2

2014 Game Retrospective - Part 2

Plenty of downs in 2014, but we'll get to the ups.

2014 Game Retrospective

2014 Game Retrospective

We're looking back at game releases that may not be GOTY, but deserve to be talked about.

Halo: Nightfall [Review]

Halo: Nightfall [Review]

A look inside Microsoft's exploratory Halo TV mission.

Horror Vacuum on Wii U Left by Capcom, Fatal Frame Must Fill It

Horror Vacuum on Wii U Left by Capcom, Fatal Frame Must Fill It

Nintendo fans need their horror games!

Hyrule Warriors Adds Amiibo Support, New DLC, And I Keep Playing It

Hyrule Warriors Adds Amiibo Support, New DLC, And I Keep Playing It

It's raining amiibos!

2014 Game Retrospective - Part 2

Welcome to day 2 of our continuing recap of 2014. The Shogun Gamer staff is hard at work putting together their list of favorites from this past year, but in the meantime Casey and I will continue to run down some of the best (and more likely, the worst) games, features, and trends of 2014 in gaming. 

2014 Game Retrospective

While we start our internal debates on what the best (and worst) games of 2014 were, we thought it might be fun to also shine the light on some other games that might not make their way on to the GOTY discussion list... but still deserve a nod of some kind.

Over the next couple of weeks, leading up to our official Game of the Year Awards, we're going to be releasing a series of articles themed at noting some of the last years highlights and lowlights, hopefully with a bit of humor.

Halo: Nightfall [Review]

It took five weeks, but each of episode of Halo: Nightfall is finally released (they were unveiling one per week since the launch of Halo: The Master Chief Collection), but is it everything Halo fans have waited for? At roughly twenty to thirty minutes per episode (and a little longer if you include the second story experiences which I'll delve into shortly), it's essentially a full length film in its entirety, but it's definitely not a AAA blockbuster movie you'd see from Hollywood.

Horror Vacuum on Wii U Left by Capcom, Fatal Frame Must Fill It

I try not to get too bent out of shape by Game X not appearing on Console Y too much. There are countless, boring, and unsatisfying factors that go into those kinds of decisions and there's usually no point in trying to fight them.

Hyrule Warriors Adds Amiibo Support, New DLC, And I Keep Playing It

I could tell you all about how Nintendo has rolled out the second part of its planned DLC for Hyrule Warriors and added the ability to scan amiibos for extra loot. I could tell you that the amiibo functionality is unobtrusive and a nice way to gain more mileage out of your existing amiibo collection, but not particularly worth shelling out too much extra cash for.

Far Cry 4 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Coming from Far Cry 3, the gameplay feels very much the same, but with a couple of new additions. However, the environment, the weapon selection, and the incredible feeling of lighting forests on fire and stomping on enemy soldiers while riding an elephant does a lot to detract from the negatives and deliver an overall bad-ass experience.

The Pros: 

+ You are a living murder machine
+ Beautifully rendered environment
+ Easy to grasp gameplay
+ You can ride an elephant, what more do you want

The Cons: 

- Gameplay can be very samey from Far Cry 3 to 4
- Hunting can be made almost too easy with the inclusion of Bait
- Outposts and Bell Towers are a little bit repetitive

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

A lot of games are doing moral/amoral story-lines now. I totally get the appeal as well. Titles like the Fallout series really made you feel the full weight of a bad decision, be it through popping a cap in one dude and having a bunch of normally-friendly NPC's come gunning for you or by blowing up a small town and making your daddy express his disappointment in you. Today, I'm going to celebrate Far Cry 4 which allows you to be a total dick to the oppressed people of Kyrat, and totally get away with it.

Nintendo's Ready for Commitment, Amiibo

R.O.B., the Power Pad, the Super Scope, the N64 Transfer Pak, the GBA-GCN Link Cable, the Gamecube Broadband Adapter, Wii Speak, AR Cards, the Circle Pad Pro, the 3DS Stand.

Boss Fight Books Returns For Season 2

 

Boss Fight Books Returns For Season 2
Digital space in print: An exploration of narrative potential

Video games are pretty cool, guys. You know what else is cool? The things that video games can inspire, especially when that inspiration is realized in another medium. All of a sudden the interactive vocabulary of video games is transposed into another language. A language we're familiar with, but not in the same context.

Halo: Nightfall - Impressions

To say I'm a massive Halo fan is putting it lightly. I have a borderline obscene collection of anything Halo related: games, toys, novels, art, you name it. I've already accepted the fact that there's likely not going to be a big budget Halo movie, as that seems to have fallen through the cracks over the years, which is ok. Instead, we've been given Forward Unto Dawn which was a live action short set in the Halo universe, a direct tie in to Halo 4, and now we're able to see the next chapter of the Halo live action films - Halo: Nightfall.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

A collection of four Halo games should have been a cause for much rejoicing for Xbox fans. However, somewhere down the development road the team behind the game collection forgot what made Halo successful the first time around: Multiplayer. Without a working multiplayer at launch (or indeed for a week afterwards) this game feels half-complete.

The Pros: 

+Halo 2's visual upgrade is nothing short of stunning.
+Having the ability to go through all 4 main Halo games again is awesome.
+The menu navigation and selection is slick and easy to use.

The Cons: 

-The game was released before it was completed.
-Multiplayer is still having issues getting started a week later.
-Playlists should be customizable, instead of just preset.

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
6

While we might not hit every single game for review, I'm sure some of you have been wondering where the Halo: Master Chief Collection review has been. It's understandable, especially considering the fact that we've live streamed several hours of the game on our Twitch stream. So here's the down low: We received a review copy of the game about 2 weeks before it came out, however there were issues with the multiplayer/co-op that were going to be addressed in a patch.

Game-to-Movie Franchises That Scream “WHY?”

When I began writing this piece, I originally went in with a different motif: I was thinking to myself (as we nerdy types often do) what game properties I wanted to see become film franchises. Granted, for every half-decent movie (Resident Evil) we get what amounts to horrible, slow-rotting leprosy (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li). I had my comprehensive list all typed up, I had my points arranged, and I was ready to fire it off. Somehow, in the midst of my research, I had managed to miss the fact that three out of four of my choices had already been tentatively announced.

Loot Crate and Smash Bros.

I won't make any bones about it; I think Loot Crate and the services like it are stupid. If I'm going to blow my tiny earnings on "geek-themed" garbage I at least want to be able to select exactly what garbage I buy. That's why I have a wall of Metal Gear merchandise that I meticulously curate and not a semi-random assortment of POP Vinyls and fan-made t-shirts of [any pop culture icon] interacting with a TARDIS, but to each their own.

Up NXT

One thing that I'm constantly asked about by customers is "Why are they removing features?" This is, of course, in regard to the current-gen versions of certain games. It happened with the September release of NHL 15, and it's happening again with the upcoming November 18th release of WWE 2k15.

PSA: Your Wii U Has Resurrected Castlevania: Part II

Welcome back, weary traveler! You look emboldened and full of vigor. Could it be? Have you taken my advice? Did you in fact partake of the three succulent fruits that I placed before you in Part I? But of course you did!

Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault Preview

I'd like to represent the PC here at Shogun Gamer a little. In a wide world of varied video game devices including consoles, handhelds and beyond, each have their strengths and a role to fill--well except maybe the OUYA...

PSA: Your Wii U Has Resurrected Castlevania: Part I

Like the Great Pumpkin rising from the pumpkin patch giving presents to all of the good girls and boys, Nintendo and Konami have given us all a special treat this past Halloween. It’s a gift that will last longer than any pillowcase full of candy or Fireball-induced hangover – it’s the Gameboy Advance Castlevania trilogy.

Dying Light - A Look At The Future Of Zombie Brain-Bashing

Zombies! A genre that is as undying as its slow shuffling stars.

Developer Techland, no stranger to zombie lore with their first outing Dead Island (which I was a big fan of) is creating a mighty ambitious open world zombie playground to explore, raise a little (more) hell and if a healthy dose of luck is on your side, maybe even survive. Maybe...

Bayonetta 2 [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Bayonetta 2 is a game that never should have been made. We don't deserve it. We obviously didn't buy the original enough and yet now we're being rewarded with one the best character action games ever made. This is the opposite of how good things are supposed to happen. I'm sensing a terrible monkey paw twist real soon like that episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark. I can't remember what happened in it but I remember the monkey paw. Or maybe that was Freaky Stories. Either way, Bayonetta 2 is amazing. Play it before something awful happens to you.

The Pros: 

+ Moment to moment tension in combat that makes Climax moves spiritually satisfying
+ Beautiful set pieces and enemy design that lend themselves to spectacular moments both in-game and during cutscenes
+Stage design that doesn't fight against the flow of the game
+A heavily customizable loadout with unique weapons and costumes

The Cons: 

-Good luck figuring out how to equip those weapons and costumes in the beginning
-No quick restarts in the middle of a stage
-Loki's voice-acting is reeeeal blah

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
9

Bayonetta 2 is the sequel (that by all rights we never should have gotten) to 2010's Bayonetta by Platinum games, a studio well known for it's over-the-top character action games. Directed by Yusuke Hashimoto taking over from the series creator Hideki Kamiya, Bayonetta 2 follows the story of the titular Bayonetta, an Umbra Witch who seems to constantly get into tussles with the powers of Heaven and Hell, sometimes referred to as Paradiso and Inferno.

Fantasy Life [Review]

Overall Feeling: 

Level-5 has built a fairly typical cutesy RPG with a fun new twist - find your calling and take up a job, buy and decorate (and redecorate) your house and create your own goods-based trading system with your friends as you progress through an unfortunately non-interactive story with a talking butterfly by your side. The very same-y feeling of the more standard inclusions in this game are contrasted against what happens to be an excellent gameplay system where you can, if you so choose, beat the bad guy and save the world as a powerful Paladin or a humble Cook.  These aspects create a surprisingly addictive yet easy to put down portable RPG.

The Pros: 

+Surprisingly fun and addictive blue-collar job system
+No job limitations - pick up as many as you want
+Classically adorable Level 5 design
+Online multiplayer encourages turning your craft into an entrepreneurship
+Very detailed character customization when making your avatar

The Cons: 

-Story is very typical dialogue is fluffy
-Combat classes pointless at start of game
-Story missions almost non-interactive

ShogunGamer.com Rating : 
8

Over the years, Level-5 has sat on the throne for a very niche concept - build an otherwise typical game and throw in just the right gimmick or twist to make you never want to put your controller down. From Dark Cloud 2's crafting system to Professor Layton's ...Layton-ness, to building a neat RPG concept and then having Studio-freaking-Ghibli animate your cutscenes, this studio has been aces at developing fun and unique games for all audiences.  Once in a while, a portion of the game has to suffer for innovation.

The Halo Hype Train

CHOO-CHOO! All aboard the Halo hype train! In a few short weeks (13 days exactly as of this post) Halo fans are getting a massive collection that we've been wanting for quite some time. It's no secret that I'm a massive Halo fan. I have all the novels, read all the backstory lore, have all the comics, multiple special Halo artworks, and enough Halo toys to probably open my own store, so to say I'm a Halo fan is an understatement. I don't usually buy into hype, but when it's for one of my favorite games ever, it's hard not to.

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